The teachers in Florida have won a lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis who ruled that schools should reopen at the end of the month while “essentially ignoring the requirement for school safety”
Leon County Judge Charles Dodson supported the Florida Education Association, the largest union in the state, and ruled that the state’s department of education can’t override local school board decisions and cut funding if districts don’t comply with DeSantis’ wishes to fast-track school re-openings.
“The districts have no meaningful alternative,” Dodson said.
“If an individual school district chooses safety, that is, delaying the start of schools until it individually determines it is safe to do for its county, it risks losing state funding, even though every students is being taught,” he added.
The judge frowned at education commissioner Richard Corcoran’s threat to cut $23 million in monthly aid to Hillsborough County, for voting to delay re-opening by four weeks based on health officials’ decision.
“They had no real choice,” Dodson wrote.
He added that “Defendants arbitrarily prioritized reopening schools statewide in August over safety and the advice of health experts; and all school districts complied in order to avoid a drastic loss of State funding.”
Florida currently has the third-most coronavirus cases in the U.S. and the fifth-most deaths.